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Audit Hub: Windows Limitations for Control Evidence Zip Files and How to Troubleshoot
Audit Hub: Windows Limitations for Control Evidence Zip Files and How to Troubleshoot
Dana Mauger avatar
Written by Dana Mauger
Updated over a week ago


Windows has a Maximum Path Length Limitation of 260 characters. This Windows limitation causes Drata users and auditors using Windows computers to run into 'Error 0x80010135: Path too long' and are unable to open the folder and files in the Control Evidence zip file. In this help article, we will share workarounds to get past the Windows limitation so that you can open your zip file without an issue.


This help article only applies to Drata users using a Windows computer. Mac OS users will not experience this issue.


First and foremost, let’s discuss what are paths and what it means when the path is too long for a Windows computer.

A path represents the directory and file relationships common in modern operating systems. Outlined in green is the path. All paths start with C:\\Users\\username . Each character in the path, including the C:\\ , is counted towards the character count. As you open more folders, those folder names get added to the path.

Windows has a maximum path length of 260 characters (including the file name and directory path). If any file within the ZIP archive has a path longer than this limit, our users will see the “Path too long” error as shown below:

As you can see, each of these images have the same 'Error: 0x80010135: Path too long'. The error is the same in each modal, despite the file type icons are different in each modal. The error means that your path is over the 260 Windows character limit.

To resolve this issue, there are a few options:

  • Shorten the destination Path:

    Extract the ZIP file to a location with a shorter folder structure. For example, extract it to the root directory of a drive (e.g., C:\\) or a folder with a shorter name.

  • Use a Third-Party Extraction Tool:

    Use third-party file compression/extraction tools like 7-Zip, which may have better support for long file paths than Windows' built-in extraction tools.

  • Use tar: Since Windows 10 build 17063 (April 2018 or later), we can use tar.exe. It's a third-party tool for compressing file that already comes with Windows.

Here are the steps to use Tar:

  1. Right click on the empty space next to the zip file you’d like extract and select, 'Open in Terminal'. Be sure to click directly on the empty space or else you will see a different dropdown.

    You will get a window that looks like this once you click on Open in Terminal:

  2. For the next step, in Terminal, you need to make sure you are in the folder where the audit zip has been downloaded. Right-clicking as described in step 1 should automatically open your Terminal to the right folder. That will be indicated by the folder path to the left of the > prompt. If that folder path is not where the audit zip file was downloaded, you'll need to navigate to that folder using the "change directory," or cd, command in Terminal.

    1. Example: If the audit zip file is downloaded into your “Downloads” folder type in cd Downloads

    2. Depending on where you started in Terminal vs. where the audit zip file is, you may need to execute the cd command multiple times. Drata personnel can help you navigate multiple folders in one cd command if desired.

  3. Once you are in the folder containing the audit zip filer, type in the script below in your terminal. Replace ZIP FILE NAME with the name of your zip file. Include .zip afterwards.

    tar -xf **ZIP FILE NAME**.zip


    tar -xf

  4. Press “Enter” and you will see a new line below your line of code. Exit out of the modal.

  5. You will now see your zip file successfully extracted.


What are batch files?

A commonly asked question from our Auditors is, 'What are batch files and should I be concerned that there are batch files in my zip?'

Batch files are completely harmless. A batch file (.bat) is a script file. In other words, it is another type of file, just how .pdf and .docx are file types. Drata creates these batch files in our Evidence sample to provide a more user friendly way of accessing the control evidence files. These batch files serve as shortcuts to different folders, reducing the size of the zip file and ensuring that users edit from the same evidence files. By using batch files, duplicate evidence files are prevented from being created, resulting in a more streamlined and efficient experience.

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